Dot Travel is an extension that never quite caught on when it launched years ago. There were restrictions as to who could register a .travel domain.
Dot Travel has relaunched and now more people are able to register a .travel domain. We sat down with Byron Henderson and he answered questions about the .Travel extension.
1) How have things been going since you re-launched .Travel
We first launched in 2005 and have successfully built a TLD with a strong identity. Since 2012 the domain name industry has evolved and we are evolving with it with the re-launch of our website and with the co-operation of our long-standing registrar group.
Over our first ten years .travel has become the reference TLD for travel content. We are particularly proud to have been chosen by the majority of countries as their official tourism website. Those countries are the just the most visible of the thousands of .travel developments coming from the private sector.
In the re-launch we have refreshed our image and enhanced channels of direct communication. In addition, we are on social networks daily, we use online chat in three languages for immediate customer support and we have translated the site into 5 languages. We expect to add more languages early in 2017.
Our extended language support is largely in recognition of our strong market in non-english language countries. We consistently see increasing support in Spanish and French markets, for example.
2) Can anyone register a .travel name now ? If not what are the requirements?
Every creator of travel content is welcome. More specifically, a travel domain name is available to everyone who provides, or plans to provide services, products or content in or to the travel industry. New travel startups are welcome, and that includes every new travel content provider.
3) What would you say are the best websites online that are using a .travel domain ?
We are always interested in the many smaller travel businesses that use their .travel name as part of imaginative marketing plans, but the many country sites have the largest exposure and activity. Travel is often characterized as a destination business and sites like Canada.travel, Germany.travel or Colombia.travel are great examples of the clear travel identity that our domain names provide.
Beyond destinations and pure tourism, we also appreciate the development of sites such as Software.travel, or Photographers.travel which demonstrate how to articulate a business based on a generic .travel domain.
Because we are so proud of our users we are developing and classifying these sites at http://www.travel.travel/live-sites/ where anyone can see numerous successful uses of the .travel domain name. Added to this site listing, we also publish a blog with interviews every week to introduce our registrants and share the opinion of those who have chosen and who use a .travel domain. Spreading the stories of our registrants is an important part of our re-launch.
4) Do you find that travel related business using a .com also pick up their corresponding .travel name for defensive purposes?
Defensive registration is part of the domain name business, but we are more interested in new ways that newer TLDs are being used in conjunction with .com or similar extensions. For us, it is more interesting to see Colombia redirect their visitcolombia.com traffic to Colombia.travel, or the Seychelles government, which adopted .travel in 2006, who have since then redirected Seychelles.com to Seychelles.travel.
We also expect to see more and more businesses operating globally under many extensions, sharing content across names and targeting specific marketing through particular extensions.
Since we are not a low-cost generic TLD, but one with a clear focus on the travel industry, we have never been a TLD with spam or speculators trying to hold keywords or brand names. We think that the very large number of official tourism sites is a remarkable indicator of the quality identity that .travel has built.
5) Can you report any significant individual .travel sales ?
We have seen .travel names in recent private auctions and sales in the aftermarket, but we have not done registry auctions. We know that some .travel domains have been sold in 5 digits in the aftermarket, and those can be found in the well-known reports. However, we have taken a different approach. We value name use and so we do not have premium prices for our generics. We try to make our premium names well known with daily listings that may interest potential customers and all of them are available at our normal registration price. The listings appear at http://www.travel.travel/premium-domains/
6) Are there a large number of .travel names that remain restricted such as 1 and 2 character ?
Our 1 and 2 character names are on reserve, but ICANN has approved the release of those names under various programs that we may introduce in the future. Unlike many registries we have not reserved three character, or thousands of high-value names. Our three-character names are available for general registration in the same way as the premium names that we list daily.
7) Where is the .travel extension being marketed to increase awareness in the travel industry ?
The advantage of being a preferred extension by official tourism boards allows us to appear in privileged spaces: airports, TV stations, major sporting events. All countries market extensively to attract the travel spending that makes up a major part of most country economies. Each year there are many good examples, but one famous case was the tennis match between stars Djokovic and Nadal playing at Perito Moreno, the wonderful destination in Patagonia. Over the court, in constant view of the global audiences, was the domain name Argentina.travel.
On a smaller scale we are part of the marketing efforts of our thousands of travel registrants, which we contribute to with daily online active campaigns, launching more than 1,000,000 daily impressions.
Thank you for your time